A couple of Australian med students has found a way to perform initial check up for anaemia, or low red blood cell levels, using a smartphone app. The diagnosis involves examining the patient’s skin hue, including looking at places that should normally be red, such as the gums, around fingernails, and under the eyelids. The smartphone application, called Eyenaemia, is able to do that nearly automatically, depending only on how good you’re in taking selfies.
The app comes with a color card that’s used as a calibration tool. The person simply pulls back the eyelid, places the card below the eye and takes a selfie with the app. The underlying software then analyzes the conjunctiva and spits its prediction which can be used to decide how to proceed further.
The application is currently being trialed at Mildura Base Hospital and Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, southeast of Melbourne.For this idea, Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang, both 22, of Melbourne’s Monash University, were crowned winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup in Seattle after their entry beat 34 other teams from around the world.
By following their passion of using technology to solve medical problems, the duo was awarded $50,000 and a private mentoring session with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Mr Seah and Ms Tang developed the project while they were on a placement in rural Victoria last year and saw a need for an easier way to detect the life-threatening condition.
“Both of us were doing placement out in Mildura [northwestern Victoria] when we found that anaemia was a common problem but people in these remote and rural areas had to travel hours just to get a blood test,” Ms Tang told Daily Mail Australia.
The application is currently being trialed at Mildura Base Hospital and Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, southeast of Melbourne. Mr Seah added that he hopes the project will expand worldwide, particularly in developing countries.